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Gates in Baghdad on surprise visit

world Updated: Sep 15, 2008 14:26 IST

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Baghdad on Monday a surprise visit, an AFP correspondent travelling with him said.

His trip comes as Washington and Baghdad are negotiating a controversial security pact that will govern the presence of US-led foreign troops in Iraq when a UN mandate expires at the end of the year.

Last week, Gates said the United States was now in the "end game" in Iraq but that it must move cautiously in drawing down its forces despite a growing insurgency in Afghanistan.